By Julie Curnow

The Battle of the Sexes – Air Conditioning Temperature Wars

Forget the battle over TV remotes, the biggest battle of the sexes is over the temperature setting of air conditioners … and every now and again Air and Water Residential are called in as official umpire over the correct temperature of air conditioners.

In an office or home setting, you will find if men set the air-conditioning temperature, then women will complain they are cold (unless they are going through menopause in which case it will be too hot). And if women set the temperature to a level they are comfortable with, men complain they are too hot. This can result in a never ending guerrilla campaign where one person adjusts the temperature and the other adjusts it back. It‘s the cause of many people being banished to sleep on couches on the home front, and more than one office all-in war.

So what is behind this battle of the sexes? Put simply – men and women are different. For starters, men tend to be heavier built than women, and often wear vests under their shirts, or long sleeve shirts with ties. Women tend to dress for the seasons, with thinner material clothes in summer and short sleeves. In other words – men have extra padding than women in the office. Research has also shown that women are more susceptible to frost bite and hypothermia (not that our air conditioners get to that level of coldness), so women feel the cold in their fingers and toes more than men. But how much of a difference is there?

Marsha Ackermann in her book Cold Comfort suggests the difference between the sexes in terms of what is a comfortable temperature is on average 1-2°C. Many women feel comfortable at 25°C – but men prefer 23°C. So yes, there really is a battle of the sexes! And if you want to keep the peace – work out if you have more men or women in the home or workplace, and set the temperature for the majority. We would love to hear your stories of temperature wars. Is your air conditioner too hot or cold?

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